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Mall series part 3: Back to the 80s… sort of.

Published July 24, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Although I can’t build a time machine I did the next best thing and snapped a picture of what clothing used to resemble during the late 80s/early 90s up until 1992 at the dawn of the grunge movement which was after my time.

I just had to return the size small black crop top because it was one of those annoying garments that kept creeping up whenever I breathed and I’d have to re-adjust it. I don’t mind my shirts to be a little bit on the snug side, but when buying new clothes from rue21 it pays to go one size up. I laughed when I glanced at the reason for my returned item: ‘changed mind’ on the sale’s receipt. I thought I said it was too small. Eh, either way it’s all good. 🙂

I had to get the freakin’ ray of sunshine tank top instead. They had one Def Leppard tank top in size large, but it was okay. If the store is out of them next time I can always go online.

The acid-washed Freedom Flex Jeggings I tried on were a size 0. The next size up was a 3/4 and they were too big. I like to try on Jeggings for proper fit long before I ever buy them. I don’t trust online size charts because they have been wrong. So, yours truly snapped a good ensemble and this would have been very typical, I’d say, almost a ‘must have’ teenage apparel when it was brand new back in the 80s and early 90s.

GnR tee and Jeggings 7-23-2016 rue21

Guns n’ Roses T-shirt and acid-washed Jeggings 7-23-2016

I don’t recall our rock t-shirts having a cracked distressed look about them fresh off the store racks. But these days this distressed look is in vogue as well. I don’t complain and here I stated I wasn’t a fan of Guns n’ Roses, yet I wind up coming across a Men’s size small tee of a GnR t-shirt with the Appetite for Destruction album cover depicted on the front. The image is intentionally made to look cracked and old. Now back in the day if you had a brand new rock t-shirt, then a teenager wanted it to look new for as long as possible. And the way to achieve this is to wash those rock t-shirts inside out and use something gentle like Wool-Lite laundry soap and in some cases, hand wash the rock shirt. Do not ever use bleach. I can’t stress this enough. I had ruined so many good articles throughout the years even when using bleach as instructed on the bottle. And nowadays what do our original rock t-shirts from back then look like now? Some are faded, others have snags, holes, stains, rips, etc. And there’s the dead stock vintage rock shirts which are astronomically over-priced even though they’re brand new, never worn.

Back in the old days a rock t-shirt from Hastings books, music and video would set a person back $20.00 pre-tax. Nowadays similar rock tees have gone down in price: $12.99, unless there’s a sale going on this may even cost less. The acid-washed Jeggings from rue21 will run about $19.99 per pair.

I mall-walked and heard a whistle of approval twice. However, when I looked, I didn’t see whoever it was and naturally assumed the person was whistling at someone else. I didn’t think there was anything special about what I pulled on today: jeans and a tank top and sneakers. I didn’t wear the heels nor open-toed sandals, but regretted not taking a light weight jacket. The mall is kept cold and it feels great coming in out of the summer heat. But after about thirty minutes, the chill will seep into one’s bones. And I waltzed by a pretzel place in the food court. Don’t tempt me. I am off of anything containing yeast and ‘enriched’ flour products since I’m highly allergic to both. But there was an advertisement for hot dog pretzel bites. Has anybody seen/ tried these? They look delicious, however, I don’t consume hot dogs anymore and haven’t for close to five years now. I didn’t pack my veggie or fruit snacks today so I waited to have supper when I got home.

If you ever happen to go to rue21 they have some awesome perfumes. I might like the scent of Rue Rocks and Candy Girl, but doubt I will ever spend $10 or even $13 for a small bottle and the chemicals—oh, man! If there’s ever a formula for these two scents I may have to create my own using essential oils and rubbing alcohol so I can steer clear of the harmful chemicals and that dreaded, “fragrance” ingredient that can translate to mean ‘anything potentially harmful’.

Rue21’s new perfume About a Girl I wasn’t a fan of, although it’s been their hottest seller by far and it just debuted a day or so ago. I’m more of an Exclamation (!) type of gal myself. It’s a classic perfume that debuted in 1987 and that’s the only chemically-questionable perfume I’ll use sparingly from time to time.

Ever wonder how to wear perfume? I guess there’s no right or wrong way. I always heard to dab some on your pulse points: underside of wrists, behind the earlobes, etc. And then I was later told you could also spray some in the air and then walk through it this way the scent clings to your clothes rather. It made sense and tried it like that. After a while though the scent dies off, at least for me, I don’t detect the perfume as strong. Makeup I don’t bother with it even though I did create my own face powder using corn starch and unsweetened cocoa powder. Go easy on the cocoa powder when mixing. I would have sifted this, but was too lazy to go the extra step, and for some awesome brown eye shadow I would likely use a little bit of cocoa powder and to set it, a smudge of coconut oil. I haven’t gotten around to making my own all natural lipstick shades yet. The farthest I’ve gotten was a soft pink lip gloss from crushed raspberries and strawberries mixed in with coconut oil.

As always thanks for liking, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting, sharing, etc. I always appreciate it a lot! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dead Mall series part 2: Try-ons and discounts: a customer’s perspective.

Published July 22, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I tried on the last I’m a Freakin’ Ray of Sunshine tank top rue21 had in stock, but didn’t get it. It was piled under a mess of other picked through tanks. Straight ahead it looked like a mini-tornado deposited a mountain of new shoes off to one side of the discounted jewelry section.

In a place like the mall time slows down. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s the atmosphere and that outdated shopper’s muszak. It didn’t feel but more than a few minutes had passed, and as one would guess, a whole hour had went by.

$3 clearance racks: are they a good/ not so good deal? Depends what you’re specifically looking for. Maurice’s will forever be out of my league. I say this because I simply can’t and won’t ever justify spending $44 for one pair of Jeggings when I know I can find them for $3 or less elsewhere. I did try on two pairs at Maurice’s, but for some reason, they didn’t have that certain look nor feel about them, and unlike rue 21, there’s not a whole lot of savings. But I figured while I was here I may as well try on the ‘money’s no object’ astronomically-priced Jeggings. It came as no surprise I didn’t like the fabric of Maurice’s Jeggings (no offense). The material reminded me of a pair of cheap Wally World polyester leggings that I once had and later turned around and donated because they made my sensitive skin sweat and break out. Also, the material of the expensive Jeggings felt very inferior, almost as though if I looked at them wrong they’d fall apart. And the intentionally sewn on patches felt really cheap and too light weight to withstand a single laundering. I snapped one picture of the Jeggings and called it good. I returned the Jeggings to their rightful spots and folded them just as I’d seen them.

I’m a very particular and tidy customer. Perhaps most customers don’t go out of their way to fold and/ or hang clothes. That’s why store employees get paid to straighten up after customers. I also relate to the store employees that have a trillion different tasks that must be completed all at the same time in some cases. As a customer it doesn’t bother me to walk into a chaotic mall store where clothes resemble a teenager’s bedroom and everything’s in piles, new merchandise is in the process of being organized and hung up on hooks. Did I mention the mall is like an ice box, too? That’s not a bad thing in a heatwave, but good advice: wear tennis shoes and socks and take a light weight jacket if donning shorts and a tank top. Outside it was  very muggy so the air-conditioning was a welcome relief.

A few days ago I tried on a very cute black cut out lace crop top and there weren’t too many left in stock. If you ask for another size it’s whatever is already on the floor. Stuff gets re-arranged on a daily basis, pretty much. At first, I couldn’t find these black crop tops in their usual spot at rue 21. I gravitated to a rack of jeans and placed on top were the black crop tops folded over sandwiched in with the white tank tops. I found my size and compared it to the xs “I’m a Freakin’ Ray of Sunshine” tank. They were both adorable, but I thought in terms of pick out just one. I opted for the black crop top.

I really can’t stand the feel of rayon, but also tried on a cut out v-neck black top. I could already see a few problems with the v-neck rayon top not staying in place and constantly tugging on those cut out straps to adjust them would just annoy me. Rayon top went on the rack of rejected clothing even though it was discounted at $3. I found three pairs of discounted jeans. And even though one pair is missing the front fly button I plan to sew on an antique glass button and call it good. 🙂

What’s with all the holes in the knees and the shredded look? It seems to be in vogue nowadays and in all the mall stores the Jeggings and jeans look alike. However, the material differs greatly from store to store.

Won’t I get cold once winter hits? Nah. I have a few more normal jeans without the distressed look to them that I picked up for 29 cents when at the thrift store. I really need to get on the ball and sort through all of my clothes again that no longer fit and/ or that I no longer wear and donate them. I try to do this often whenever I buy a new article of clothing, then donate my gently used stuff.

It was super busy in rue 21 and I’ve come to the conclusion it’s a very popular store with young and old alike. And the deals are better than Old Navy, not that I’m bashing their clearance items, but a lot of their tops and jeans don’t fit petite customers. The extra small and small clearance section in Old Navy consisted of no more than two tank tops, one large sweater even though the garment tag stated size small, and then it jumped into the medium and large misplaced clothes. Everything was slim pickings in Old Navy. When I stepped into Old Navy it’s warm in that store that its unbearable after a few minutes and it reeks unpleasantly of lingering mildew which is gross. But the mall is quite old so perhaps it has a lot to do with the ventilation system not working right.

On my stroll I passed by a outdoor/running/ jogging store that was having a ‘going out of business’ sale. That’ll make store #4 that’s closed down in the mall. The empty retail space sits forlorn with no renters. Yet, there’s a Hobby shop that recently opened dedicated to airplanes, model trains and nothing else it seems like. I don’t expect them to do booming business and look for them to close their doors in about two months because there doesn’t seem to be any interest, for one. And two, everybody’s too caught up in their Pokemon-Go craze and other social media.

Texting, chatting on the cell phone, gazing at an iPad—it seems to take up half the food court. I packed my lunch and had a fruit salad and one Gala apple. I don’t dine at the mall anymore because all the pre-processed food will leave a person feeling hungry afterwards likely due to the MSG. However, the pizza looks good, but I stayed true to my ‘no diary’ and no cheese diet. That, and I’m allergic to yeast and enriched flour products anyway. And the city water is fluoridated, so naturally I packed my distilled water.

Nobody at the mall socializes in person anymore, or if they do, they’ll glance at their cell phones every two minutes, update their Facebook status, post a selfie, then forget what they were talking about. The only time I removed my cell phone was to take pictures for my dead mall/ fashion/ clothing blog series on here. I don’t do social media except when I’m at home and/or blogging, tweeting stuff out.

As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, commenting. I truly appreciate it. Stay tuned for more. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No point looking at life in the rearview mirror: part 1 of my dead mall series.

Published July 20, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1
Bling current fashion lep print komono and skinny jeans 7-19-2016

Editorial correction: kimono. Bling! store in mall.

“I finally look human,” was my thrilled reply while examining the sale’s associate’s finished results.

I was nearly moved to tears. The friendly Dillard’s sales associate at the makeup counter said I had a very nice, fair complexion after I told her I thought my tattoos looked terrible and how embarrassed I am by them. And for the first time in twenty-three years I felt like I was fifteen all over again before I made the lifetime mistake of inking my skin.

I gazed in amazement at my arm. I was so blown away by how the estee lauder double wear foundation makeup is very good, if not terrific. I had ventured into Dillard’s to find some Derma-Blend makeup, but was told to try Sephora in another city. Traveling long distance is out of the question. I have seen Derma-Blend sold on Amazon and I might have to order some. And another helpful Dillard’s employee recommended I try applying some red makeup over my tattoos first to hide the blue tone, then finish off with the skin-tone makeup.

I left Dillard’s feeling a boost of hope for the inexpensive route of hiding my hideous tattoos. Those that don’t me would likely think, “What’s the big deal? Everybody pretty much sports tattoos nowadays. It’s fashionable.” I will have to disagree. I view my tattoos as being one of those lifetime regrets.

I wouldn’t say I was a trend-setter back in my 80’s generation, per se, and I’m sure I wasn’t the first to have inked her skin at sixteen. I did it much to my parent’s dismay and worry. I didn’t have very many good role models aside from my straight-laced typical 80s parents throughout my teens to look up to. My older sister was the first to get a tattoo on her arm when she was a teenager and it made a bold statement. Perhaps a part of me was highly impressionable although she strongly advised me not to get a tattoo because I’d later regret it. She turned out to be right about that. I do regret mine.

And the therapy sessions I had at sixteen (per my request), turned out to be a nightmare and it was through my [then] new therapist they told me how to get a tattoo as a way to “Rebel against your parents,” Up until this point at sixteen I never dreamed to do that and now regret putting my parents through a lot of unnecessary grief.

Should-have, would-haves and could-haves… like my college instructor told me three years ago, life is too short and we shouldn’t live in the past since we can’t change it. And they’re right about that. All we can do is move on and live life to its fullest.

Was I rebellious at sixteen? Well, if you constitute spoofing my parent’s rules in a comic book as a form of being out of hand, then no. I did push the envelope growing up, but did so through my unique, mismatched fashion. I was a trend-setter in that regard. I liked to make outdated fashion statements, but was quiet most of the time. I wasn’t very out-spoken at sixteen. I took out my emotions through drawing or I’d wear the heavy metal bracelets and pair those with the most gaudy 70’s bell bottoms I could find in thrift stores. I wore something very similar to platform boots (the originals straight out of the 70s) that zipped up mid-calf and I bought a second-hand 60’s fringe hippie vest that I just loved. So I clashed with my fashion statements. If that’s the only terrible thing [pre-tattoos] I could have ever done to rebel against my parents, then it’s laughable by today’s standards and hardly worth a mention.

But for that moment standing there in Dillard’s I got a little teary-eyed seeing my skin clear for the first time, and this was a real self-esteem booster for me. I felt alive again like I was no longer tied to that dark chapter of my long gone teenage years.  I was impressed how well the sale’s associate did trying to match the colors with my fair skin tone using only dark makeup they had on hand in the store. I was very pleased seeing no hideous tattoos covering my arm. I did all my tattoos at sixteen under the wrong advice of one very misguided adult therapist, by the way.

At sixteen I had erroneously believed that all therapists were well-trained in their chosen field and knew how to reach teenagers and help them find healthier alternatives, like say, for example, temporary tattoos that wash off with soap and water. Needless to say that wasn’t even an option nor did it ever come up in any of my one-on-one therapy sessions. And I was proven very wrong about my [then] teenage assumptions about therapists and it only further solidified my distrust of adults around me growing up.

And for a brief time I had my nose pierced as a teenager. This is, until my dad’s grandmother saw it and asked me to promptly remove it. It simply shocked her and my intentions weren’t to do that since body piercings were relatively a new trend that was taking a slow hold by around…oh, I’d say, 1993 or thereabouts. I see it didn’t catch on until around 20o8 or so.

My nose piercing didn’t last long, thankfully. But what I would like to address is the possibility of having a deviated septum (nasal cavity damage) as a result of nose piercings and the inability to fight off colds. Speaking for myself I tended to come down with colds often when I had my nose piercing. Oh, yeah, and there’s a good chance it could become infected no matter how well the piercing is kept clean, which is another good reason why I took it out and let my nose heal.

I was amazed I made it into adulthood. And nowadays I would love to re-capture the good parts of my teen years since not all of them started off bad. (And wouldn’t we all want to re-live our good moments?) 🙂

If you made it to adulthood without doing drugs consider yourself among the lucky ones that made the right decision to just say no. Other than having been a transfer student most of my teen years, and moving around a lot back in the day, the adjustments were always rough on me. New town, new clique of school kids. Oh and did I mention, a massively large student body population at each new school? Yep, and then come in the bullies though they made up the average annoyances I had to put up with at school, minus the private and religious schools where I had thrived.

Now bullies of my generation were more of the “I pick on everybody!” type. They didn’t exclude the popular kids. And the popular kids were these very stuck up, aloof teenagers that would move to another table in the cafeteria just to ignore the unpopular kids (yours truly included). I had never seen this strange new social pecking order in any of the private and religious schools I had attended. It happened quite a bit in the public school systems. And I found making friends and maintaining friendships nearly impossible for me since my family moved around quite a bit which means I’d lose contact eventually.

I didn’t come from a military family. But wherever there was better pay, nicer neighborhoods and a chance at a better education, that’s where my family would re-locate, and believe me, being a transfer student comes with large amounts of stress that I was unprepared to deal with at sixteen. I was in all sense of the word, ‘lost’. I came from a very nice, one classroom religious school where the older students tutored the younger students when the teacher was busy only to be thrust back into public school for the umpteenth time. Arrg!

Public schools never worked for me. I wasn’t delinquent as a juvenile. I wasn’t a trouble maker. I didn’t sass back to the teachers. I didn’t skip school. I didn’t cheat on my homework. I had mountains of homework that took me from five in the evening until five that next morning to finish. I ran on maybe one hour of sleep on any given weekday. My hair and makeup were slapped together and most mornings I’d leave the house on an empty stomach and take my vitamins without breakfast just so I could make it to the bus stop on time. I looked strung out because I was exhausted. There’s such a thing as overworking oneself and that’s what I did to in order to make the grade. I guzzled soda like coffee back then. I still ate lunch and dinner and I skateboarded for entertainment, too.

I was held back here and there a few grades. And as I became older and the school kids were younger than me and this created a lot of friction. I had a studious attitude that was often misinterpreted as having a small chip on my small shoulders, when in fact, I wasn’t. I had very little patients for my younger peers immaturity and sarcasm and I take life very seriously.

Yet when I was in the religious schools, my grades improved by leaps and bounds, and I’d like to hope, my nature was relaxed and laid back. I got along great with the religious kids, no problems there. I was in familiar surroundings in those religious schools, I’d say much like the mall with their outdated floors, interiors, stores—maybe not so much the merchandise and music stores are a thing of the past just about.

And my biggest addiction growing up as a teenager has always been music. It was whatever the music industry cranked out: heavy metal, thrash and speed metal like Metallica and Anthrax I simply loved. Surprisingly, I was never a fan of Guns n’ Roses (or ‘GnR’ for short back in my day) because I felt Axl Rose was mean to make his fans wait two hours before the concert began, and he threw adult temper tantrums and would storm off the stage mid-set. Although, I did find that two of their songs grew on me, “Civil War” which was popular on the radio in 1990. I especially related well to actress Anne Ramsey’s intro: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate, and some men you just can’t reach.  So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it, well, he gets it. I don’t like this anymore than you do,”

And I liked the song “Used to love Her,” which my mother hated due to its questionable lyrics. It was actually about Axl’s dog. And neither me nor my older sister were allowed to have the Guns n’ Roses 1988 album Lies, Lies, Lies.I also liked two of [Glenn] Danzig’s songs: Twist of Cane and Mother. Those grew on me.

I did like two songs by Megadeth, “Symphony of Destruction” and “Hanger 18” which were popular on the radio in 1991. I didn’t discover Iron Maiden until I was fifteen and then stumbled upon their eary stuff which lead me to discover W.A.S.P. (another 80s heavy metal/ shock rock category band). I still have all of my original Iron Maiden and W.A.S.P. LP’s from the 1980s. And I was a huge Def Leppard fan, especially of their earlier stuff. Back in 1993 I never did find a copy of their 1982 song, “Me and my Wine”. I loved the video of this song so much and later was told it could be on their High and Dry album. Hey, that’s like, totally awesome, but which release? :/ The U.K. version or was it ever on the U.S. release? I have said LP and can’t find it. I managed to find it on youtube years later so that sufficed.

If it’s heavy metal, rock, hard rock, classic rock, 80s power ballads, then I enjoy it all pretty much and managed to find it on LP as well. And I also loved all those Ronco and K-Tel produced disco albums as a teenager. I have a few of them still. I didn’t buy into the “it’s the devil’s music,” that was strongly coming from the religious community back in the day and a lot of 80s parents were decrying the same thing, “It’s the devil’s music.” Yet, we’d have this tug-o-war power struggle going on: parents give a little, and their kids will take it a mile. And when we’ve reached this new millennium, our musicians are now veterans in their own right.

And growing up we weren’t joined at the hip with cell phones, texting devices, nor Facebook. I think that would have annoyed me as a teenager because I like actual in person chatting. As teenagers we hung out at the mall and made fun of the mall walkers. That’s something that’s a lost pastime; teenagers hanging out at the mall thanks in large part to those darn thug mobs that ruined it for this upcoming generation. Growing up cell phones (at least from what I remember them resembling) were likened to those satellite car phones that you might glimpse in a 70’s action movie and they looked like old-fashioned landline phones.

Any good deals on the sale racks? A few, but I mostly came for the purpose to price the makeup to cover my tattoos with. Old Navy has a large clearance section, but looks are deceiving. Their price differences aren’t much of a huge savings, but they do have some awesome wardrobe ideas. Now the skinny jeans and/ or jeggings I stumbled upon in Maurice’s and Bling! are way out of my league. I can’t justify these store’s prices. I believe from Maurice’s their jeggings were $34.99-42.00 for one pair. From Bling! a similar pair of distressed skinny jeans will cost around $42.00.

And they had a rayon leopard print kimono for $32.99. That’s an outrageous price I thought. It’s totally awesome on the mannequin in the store window, but looks like someone had just cut out a large bolt of fabric from Jo-Ann’s and draped it over the shoulders and didn’t bother to stitch it together correctly. Not complaining about the lack of shape or form of said kimono (shown in picture) because I realize they’re supposed to have a loose drape with that style, but it resembled an over-sized poncho in my eyes, and on me when I tried it on, I practically swam in it and it was a size small. It appeared to be one of those ‘one size fits all’ garments. I don’t believe I wasted the cell phone battery to snap a picture. I’m not much of a selfie person. What else did I see? I didn’t go to any other stores, but might pop into Books-a-Million and price their comic books. I still buy on occasion comic books. Superman was my favorite and so was Tales from the Crypt, which let’s face it, those were some creepy comics that were a throw back to the 1950s E.C.’s creepy comics that were re-issued in 1990. I had a whole stack of them and my parents threw them away because they felt like they were too graphic. Thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, reading and commenting. I always appreciate it. Stay tuned for more dead mall series. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My rue 21 “mini”-haul

Published July 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Copy of tan or taupe high heel boot cage type 7-18-2016

It’s not a terribly big haul but I do believe this brings me up to thirty-one pairs of high heels now. To be honest I don’t know what to call these taupe-colored…sandals? Gladiator boots, high heels? (pictured). They remind me of a cowboy boot “heel” and a sandal since their open-toed. And maybe they fall into the chunky high heel “caged” category which are hugely popular right now. I bought the last three discounted pairs rue 21 had in stock and I’d like to thank the manager who went above and beyond and reserved the heels, faux black leather studded purse that was missing one stud so it was deeply discounted, along with a dress and one pair of earrings. I truly appreciate them doing that for me. 🙂

Do you ever carry a ‘want’ list in your purse and/ or wallet? I do. Do I ever come out of a store with exact said things on my list? Nine times out of ten, no because I find great deals that I change my mind about three or four times.

Is it taupe or “top”?

That’s a tongue twister for me to pronounce the word taupe when trying to describe a certain color of sandal or high heel. I’d always say “tan” or beige. But I’ve seen some people refer to the color as ‘taupe’. So, I bought two pairs of “taupe” open-toed heels and one pair in faux suede black with zippers.

cranberry high heel boot3 sideview

Now about this faux suede and the “man made” imported materials I found out is actually polyester, which for the price I don’t mind wearing on my feet and I don’t mind carrying a fringe faux suede purse either as long as it’s not a shirt, shorts, underwear, or a tank top smothering my body. I always double-check those garment tags before I try on clothes nowadays. Can’t escape the man-made imported footwear, but hopefully with care these high heel sandals/ boots will last me quite some time and I think they accentuate any outfit whether it be for summer or early fall.

And I found some feather hoop earrings for $2. These are awesome and I love that they don’t pull down on the earlobe like some other heavy hoop earrings do. These feather hoop earrings are semi-light weight and they pair well together with just about any outfit. I would have loved to buy a few more pairs but will wait until another time since I believe these to be a delicate earring so when wearing these, be gentle with them. Again,  a lot of the mass-produced inexpensive jewelry made nowadays isn’t sturdy. That can be said of necklaces which is why I only shopped rue 21 for a few necklaces last year. I still have the gold bangle bracelets I bought a year ago.

I came home with a stylish pair of pink framed aviator sunglasses. And on rue 21’s $3 sale rack I tried on and fell in love with a tiny cropped jean jacket that has intentional rips and shreds on the front. Why did this tiny jean jacket call to me? It was the last one on the half-price rack. Get it, try it on, take a “selfie”. Back my day we just called it “take a picture” since the term “selfie” is a new word for this millennium. Just like “Bestie” never existed in my day. We used to just say “best” friends and never abbreviated anything. Going to the mall has been a learning experience for me and I never fail to learn something new whether it’s a new term, word, phrase, etc. Let me state that I have not been living under a rock. I very seldom see and/ or hear these new millennium phrases used everyday. Yes, that makes me so ‘old school’. 😀

I do plan to revise my want list (again for the umpteenth time). When shopping for clothes: don’t go based on online descriptions like for example, if they say, “Model wears a size ¾,” or model wears a size 0 and don’t provide height or weight measurements, go to the nearest rue 21 and try on the garments. I found from past online shopping at home experiences eons ago that trying to base my size compared to a model is vague and impossible.  In fact, to avoid disappointments don’t compare your size to what the model wears. Always try on the garments. I was very fortunate enough there was plenty of sizes of the same garments that I tried on. Some rue 21 clothes will run very true to size, so I’d recommend going one size up if the garment has no stretch to it, especially if its all cotton shorts/jeans and/or jeggings.

I seem to gravitate to the new jeggings that rue 21 just rolled out. However, it’s not so much the $29.99 price that drives me away entirely, it’s the fabric’s rayon content. Rayon is a synthetic that is chemically produced, so it’s kind of like a strand of fiber, but still very much man made fake fabric. Other than that, I love the ripped and shredded jeggings at rue 21. My only small complaint is that some jeggings don’t have functioning front pockets, either. I like to carry pocket change and my shopping list on my person so I don’t have to dig through my purse to find either one of those items.

The “Premiere” brand skinny jeans that have patches on the legs and holes they rock, hands down! 🙂 I love them and am very happy with how they look and feel and the fabric content I believe is cotton/spandex blend. 😀 These skinny jeans will set a person back about $11 total and can be found on rue 21’s sale’s racks. My only complaint is the leg opening down the calf could have some more ‘give’, but I haven’t noticed too much uncomfortable calf pain nor numbness from wearing said jeans. Yet again, I haven’t worn them for long periods since its been oppressively hot outside.

Surprisingly this year I’m not a fan of rue 21 shorts. I was drawn to an orange pair of crocheted shorts, but when I seen they were made of polyester I put them back on the rack without even trying them on. That, and I don’t think I’d look all that cool in a pair of crocheted shorts. I am a fan of acid-washed denim since it was first popular back in the mid-1980s. But there’s something different about the new acid-washed articles. Sure, they look like the original acid-washed ‘kind of’, but…. nothing beats the 1980s acid-washed look. It looked fantastic when it was in style and still stands the test of time even nowadays.

But I had a difficult time finding jeggings in the acid-washed style or any kind of jeans that fall in that specific category. The t-shirts really didn’t appeal to me, yet the funniest t-shirt I saw on rue 21’s website stated, “I’m a freakin’ ball of sunshine!” with an image of a happy face. I couldn’t find that particular shirt in stock locally. I don’t know what it was about the phrase or the image that made me laugh. Another funny saying I saw on a tank top stated, “Suck it up, Buttercup” and that was from a year or two ago.

At first I didn’t think I’d find anything at rue 21, but as I looked around my mall a few times I simply couldn’t find any other store that appealed to me. I kept returning to rue 21 due to their reasonable prices and better selection of garments that do fit me quite well.

The most mind-numbing, beyond boring, and annoying store I ventured in…

was Ross. This is a copy cat of Marshall’s and basically what it is like rack after rack of shoddy made cheap garments where the sizing is never alike. For example, you could compare two size smalls together, and one of them will be barely held together at the seams. That, or the color and size will be way off the mark. And the prices at Ross are higher than in the other places. I’ve only been in Marshall’s one time and that was enough for me. They wanted $8 for a pair of skinny jeans with a broken fly zipper. Unless you’re a seamstress, good luck sewing in a new zipper. Most basic sewing machine’s can’t handle sewing in a zipper through heavy fabric like denim. And Marshall’s pricing was confusing and outrageous I thought. Suggested manufacture’s retail price was so high and Marshall’s prices weren’t much different, either I thought.

And please don’t get me started on Dress Barn next. Even though they were closed the time I went, I took one look at their dress forms in the windows and it was more cheap garments that appeared to be picked over from various chain stores and/ or returned merchandise that nobody wanted.

“I am so going back to rue 21,” I told myself. I wasn’t expecting to find anything special at rue 21, but wound up finding my next outfits for fall and winter for about $34.00. I did step into the Buckle and was amazed to see no more shredded jean jacket vests. I considered myself extremely lucky to purchase the two that I had when they had them. I don’t particularly shop at the Buckle because it’s extremely expensive. The prices turns me away almost instantly and they don’t have anything in stock in my size as far as jeans go. I still consider the Buckle to be a rich person’s store.

And Sears? Eh, that day I wore my strappy Qupid high heels I ventured in there and my stride was very slow over those buffed cracked old tile floors. Sears is washed up, a has been actually. They have no different sizes stocked in their shoe department and the prices of their footwear is horribly over-priced. I thought to myself I could go to K-Mart and get stocked up on three pairs of fashionable fall boots for about $20 and earn reward points. And Sears undergarments were very standard “one size fits all” that I didn’t see my size in on the racks and it looked very picked over. There was one person fielding phone calls and that was it.

I left and walked in those tiny high heels for a little bit, then went straight home to take them off. High heels can cause the tendons that run down your foot to become weak, and over time, ruin your feet completely. I don’t wear high heels for long periods of time or even everyday. If you plan to do a lot of mall walking be sure to wear tennis shoes or something very comfortable.

I loved the compliments I received that day don’t get me wrong about my Qupids, but if the same compliment is repeated to me over and over by the same young man then it just annoys me. I was told that the young man would have probably wanted to ask me out on a date with me wearing said high heels which made my legs appear taller and my feet extremely small. I suspected such, but young men don’t know what they want when they’re twenty-something. And an older woman might be more interested in finding a down to earth, relaxed mature older man close to her age anyway.

Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting. As always I truly appreciate it a lot and special thanks goes out to all my new subscribers. 🙂 I will keep updated with any future fashion/ hauls as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Heels: pretty dangerous, but oh, so gorgeous!

Published July 13, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I’ve lost count somewhere between twenty four and twenty seven pairs of high heels that I have bought over the span of a few years. This excludes my flat sandals/ flat heels. Throughout the years there have been some nice dress shoes I bought second hand and made a painful (and blistering) realization as to why the previous shoe owner donated a great looking pair of heels/ sandals /shoes.

 

I believe women have a right to own as many pairs of high heels, sandals, tennis shoes, flip flops (in my day we used to call them ‘thongs’) that she sees fit so long as she has a closet to store all of them. And mine? They’re stored away in shoe bags.

 

What’s a ball park average for say a pair of authentic Valentino stilettos? Well, if you’re a woman who’s beyond ridiculously high maintenance, then $1,000 (USD) for a pair of those original bad boys wouldn’t be an issue.

 

Now for the more *cough*, practical and seasoned shoe shopper that just happens to find a pair of Valentino knock-offs as a lucky thrift store find or perhaps does price-comparison shopping will tell you, sometimes the real deal doesn’t look or feel so sexy after all when comfort is concerned.

 

High heels are fairly standard wardrobe accessories for most women, although not all because others prefer flats as opposed to high heels. Men, don’t feel left out. Perhaps you can glean some gift-giving ideas for that special lady. And it never hurts to ask around, either.

 

It all began with a pair of open-toed high heels I purchased in a thrift store some number of years back. They’re a small size which is likely why nobody else bought them. They fit me nearly perfect. But why did I want to add high heels to my wardrobe when I seldom ever wear them? At least I never wore them daily and don’t plan to because I want to keep my feet and arches in good shape. Secondly, I don’t want to break an ankle while wearing them. And third, I want to keep them looking nice for those special occasions.

 

As a rule when thrift store shopping; if you happen upon a great find, and you’re in a financial position to do so, buy said item(s). Many times over I would happen upon a great find, and reason with myself that said items will still be there tomorrow. Well, in most of those instances the items sold in less than an hour the very same day.

 

I’ll never forget the time I was in the dressing room and my shopping cart was full, and I found a deal on one of those high brand mops with the twist handle so I wouldn’t have to wring out a mop by hand anymore. I thought $2 was a bargain considering these mops sell brand new for about $20… Anywho—I return to my cart and my mop is missing. Some random shopper had the gallbladder stones to snatch it out of my cart. Lesson learned the hard way: when thrift store shopping take somebody along with you to watch your cart contents while in the dressing room. I can’t count how many times shoppers will just take stuff out of other shopper’s carts all the time. If you’re a regular shopper of thrift stores always watch your thrift store hauls like a hawk.

 

I found some good high heels in thrift stores anywhere from .29 cents a pair up to $3. That’s the most I’d ever spend on a pair of high heels, or so I thought before I purchased three pairs of discounted new high heels from K-Mart. Now, I know what the reader might be thinking, “K-Mart? You’re kidding, right?” Nope. I had reward points that expired soon and wanted to use those. I detest Wally world with a passion for reasons I won’t get into and K-Mart has slightly better quality items and fashions. Plus I love the outdated look of K-Mart. It’s all about creature comforts and the layout hasn’t changed much over the decades, either. Whew! 🙂

 

Do I know who Jaclyn Smith is? No, but she broke off my toe nail today as I did a hobble to my vehicle after running errands. I might have spouted off how much I disliked her (brand) of high heel at first before I had a chance to appreciate the comfort level of said high heels. It’s not Jaclyn’s fault K-Mart only stocked one size of her high heels in the discount section and had no half sizes for slender footed women out there. The size I wound up purchasing do fit with ankle cushion inserts so my feet don’t slide and I haven’t experienced any further problems. And the other brand “Attractions” was out of the sleek black shinny “Zoey” high heel on K-Mart’s discount shoe section. The toe was slightly pointy not rounded and caught my eye instantly so that says something about the overall style.

I’m not trashing Jaclyn Smith’s heels nor that of her clothing line. Now some of her clothes do appeal to me. But I can’t find anything of hers that fits me. I mean it’s all very casual and still gives off a sense of “youthfulness” and class that is tailored to just about every woman of any age and income. But her clothes are very cookie cutter ‘one size fits all’ mass-produced a lot of the time.

Since I’ve made it to my weigh loss goal I now fall into the ‘hard to buy for’ petite/ misses category almost veering into a ‘late’ teenager wardrobe section, I sorted through my old jeans and donated all but one pair I saved for when I’m working. The skinny jeans are the way to go for me nowadays because unlike regular jeans, there’s not a massive amount of leg material that needs to either be hemmed or rolled up. I also like the tapered leg of the skinny jeans and jeggings although I always told myself (negatively that is something I really must break myself of), I’d never be able to ‘rock’ a pair of those skinny jeans/jeggings in my lifetime. And as it turns out I’ve been able to find my size without any problems and they fit comfortably, but some good advice when jeggings/ skinny jean shopping; what might fit you great in your average size, may not fit well at all in another brand, so always take the time to try on a few different sizes. I discovered this helpful advice online some number of years ago.

And for the longest time I did my homework when it comes to these impressive, beautiful, sexy, yet somewhat dangerous high heels and what colors go well with both skinny jeans, dresses, and/ or shorts. And the result?

Well, for starters, I pounded the pavement in a pair of chunky sandals that could pass for heels. I tried this because I knew I’d likely break an ankle in stilettos my first time out. Until a woman gets her stride down wearing a pair of those, it’s strongly encouraged to start small with either chunky heels and/or wedge shoes that have more range of stability. So, I started out small and don’t plan to make a career of walking in high heels on a daily basis because I found they are very hard on the arches, ball of the feet, back, legs, etc. Also, keep in mind those thin stilettos have to bare the brunt of a woman’s full body weight, so its no wonders our feet, arches and other parts ache and break after a long day at the office or being on the go.

Well, until you’ve mastered walking in high heels without doing the banana splits or breaking an ankle, practice, practice, practice! Practice walking at home in high heels, at least this was highly advisable by some high heel wearing pros on Youtube. And try to walk on all surfaces like hardwood floors, tile, carpet, grass is quite tricky and the heels just sink into the ground. Always use the handrails when walking up and down the stairs and take it very slow. One other helpful tip: take baby steps and its heel to toe. Your heel is suppose to go down first, then the ball of your foot. Your stride will be different and slowed down considerably in high heels as opposed to tennis shoes. And carry those emergency booties, ladies. I’ve seen these compact ‘shoes’ in Dollar General and really it does sound like good advice even if a woman doesn’t wear high heels. Never know when you might need a pair of them.

I have one little black dress that *sigh* is made of that nasty 100 percent polyester. Until I can find another dress similar in style to it in cotton and a little less “swim suit” feeling against my skin, I’ll hang onto it. I highly doubt I’ll ever don that plastic skin-tight garment anytime soon, (if ever), but it’s made by a company called “Taboo”. Don’t know the exact age of said black dress or if it was expensive. I bought it used.

What other shoe hauls other than Jaclyn Smith and Attraction from K-Mart did I find?

Let’s see here… (sorts through her shoe bags)… I have some Charlotte Russe which retail for $35 new. I bought all of mine used in ‘like new’ condition for about $4 a pair and sometimes at a discount for around $2.00 per pair. And I have some by Fioni and “Fioni Nights” which are a Payless Shoe store brand from my research and retail for about $18 new. They look sexy and sophisticated for being an inexpensive high heel. I even have a pair of Apt. 9 high heels in one size up than what I normally wear. But again, it was the color and style that appealed to me the most and they were a dollar at the thrift store.

I purchased all of my Finoni high heels for about $1-3 each from thrift stores. And there’s another brand I picked up, and even though they’re one size larger than what I usually wear, but when I seen them, I couldn’t put them down! I loved everything about those Antonio Melani high heels, a Dillard’s brand of high heel that retails between $35-109. I bought my pair second hand for $3. And even though it would take a few of those ankle cushion inserts to ever wear these beautiful high heels, I doubt I will because they’re just too ‘Cinderella’-ish to be an ‘everyday’ type of heel, I feel. That, and I have no exceptionally nice outfits or dresses beautiful enough that would compliment said expensive Antonio high heels. And then I have a pair of Gianni Bini high heels that retail for $69-98 at Dillard’s. I bought my pair for $3 second-hand. I plan to reserve those for special occasions and when I gain more practice walking in high heels.

I have some lesser expensive high heels that are a no-frills kind that likely came from a department store for under $10. But its finding these high heels in the right size that won’t make my feet slip or break off a toe nail that’s a challenge. I did see a pair of Fredrick’s of Hollyweird, err, “Hollywood” pair of French Maid/ Role play shoes for $4.99 used. I didn’t buy those because they were gigantic on my slender feet and just fell off. I have heard that Fredrick’s of Hollywood is a famous lingerie store in California. I’ve only seen maybe two other Fredrick’s of Hollywood lingerie pieces ever surface in thrift stores and it’s not often those stick around. And I’ve also seen a ton of Victoria’s Secret lingerie at thrift stores. Some good advice: leave those teddies alone. Don’t know who wore them before you and if lingerie is a ‘must have’, please, buy it brand new just for personal hygiene’s sake.

I have reasonably deducted that the high heels I keep coming across used must have been donated by a hooker or a trio of ladies of the night. I say this because coming across such fancy high heels (in used “excellent” condition in their boxes with hardly any signs of wear) isn’t all that common to find in my local thrift stores. I’ve seen the all-too-familiar ‘clubbing’ high heels that strippers wear. But those are usually a size 10 and up. What woman has feet that huge? I think to myself, however, my mother let me know the depressing mother-daughter fact of life that our feet grow and flatten as we get older. Thanks a lot. Now I can expect to have unattractive basketball player-sized feet when I get older. 😦

The ‘clubbing’/ exotic dancer high heels don’t stick around very long in the thrift stores. And it’s not often I do come across expensive (and well made) high heels used in my size, but I’ve come home with quite a shoe haul for dirt cheap.

My purpose of going to rue 21 yesterday was to look at their picked over selection of standard Valentino knock-off high heels. Now those gladiator sandals really don’t have any appeal to me and feel uncomfortable to try on. But the Valentino knock-offs I’ve read are worth it because sometimes they feel and look far better than the actual Italian-made, outrageously expensive high heel. And then I found the second of the last pair of Qupids that lace up and they were deeply discounted. It was a pity rue 21 only had one size of those lacy high heels in my size. I believe the next size up would run a little too big, but if they’re still there come pay day, I may have to pop in and check those out.

I keep finding Jessica Simpson high heels all the time in thrift stores, but they’re always in a size too big for me. Some of her styles I do like but wouldn’t ever pay full price for when new. Buying used high heels has taught me a lot about fashion as well. Now used sandals are another story. I’ve had to turn around and re-donate a few pairs of sandals that would blister my toes and ankles and they’d feel so uncomfortable on my feet that it was no wonders a thrift store couldn’t practically give them away for .29 cents. As always, thanks for reading, liking, sharing, tweeting, re-blogging, etc. I always appreciate it. 🙂

 

It’s the Brass Buckle… wait, it’s The Buckle…nope, it’s just “Buckle”.

Published March 11, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

brass buckle clothes 1 This mall store was called “The Buckle”. Why I’ve called it the Brass Buckle for many long years is beyond me. And I finally brought my two expensive beloved new denim vests home. It appears as though I traveled back in time to purchase them. And out of all the clothes at the Buckle there was something about those two denim vests that was special. Maybe a long lost memory of “wish it had been around” back in the day, but these shredded and acid-washed vests wouldn’t have been seen in a high-end clothing store like the Buckle back in the 80’s/90’s. I found an old exterior picture of the former Buckle sign on Pentrist when randomly searching for an earlier image of this store. The Buckle’s typography has changed over the years. I prefer the way the Buckle sign used to look, but that’s because I don’t like seeing boring typography/ signs. Oh, and the Brass… eh, Buckle has always been expensive.

Yours truly wanted to treat myself for sticking with my Yoga and cardio exercises, which have yielded me… no, not six pack abs thankfully, that’s not my goal. But I have slimmed down than what I had when I first began exercising two months back. And has the weight been staying off? Yes and no. It just depends if I have those “cheat” moments and either consume natural sugar from the raw honey or from too much fruit at the wrong times of day. If I consume fresh fruit and/ or fruit smoothies in the morning then my body will burn through that natural sugar. However, if I mess up an have an apple for my dessert or fresh fruit late in the evening, then I gain it all back. So it varies from day to day.

I had a moment of inspiration while in rue 21. In the dressing rooms they post how a person could win $50 if you model their clothes and upload it to instagram or some other picture uploading website. And for us older folks, don’t forget to use your pound sign “#”. I know it’s a “hashtag” but, yeesh, hashtag reminds me of “hash browns”.

Rue 21 tops, alas, I don’t buy any if the fabric has polyester. I find that if it has a high content of plastics it will just irritate my skin. I haven’t found an all cotton top yet at rue 21. But from there, I have taken “after” or “getting there”  photos of my weight loss journey. I still have a long way to go before I’ll ever see those defined abs, which isn’t really my goal, per se, but hey, if it works, great! 😀

And there’s that part of me that was drawn back to the Buckle. I keep wanting to refer to it as “The Brass Buckle”. So, today was especially long on me. Not only did I get in some mall-walking, I also got in some irritating “people-loitering” in the aisles of Wally-world as well. I did price checking for a 1988 House of Coty perfume, Exclamation. It will always weave itself and its fruity hints of the late 80’s and leave a lasting impression of my older sister who has always been my biggest fashion inspiration and liked it at the time back in 1989. I haven’t found a pair of ‘hoop’ earrings yet that won’t pull down on my ear lobes due to heaviness, nor look like the thin hoops I remember seeing. I found some at Wal*Mart that were small and more like what I’m searching for, but only a few neon colors appealed to me. I did the price comparisons and went from the jewelry aisle back to where I found said last pair of jeans. $4.88 versus $19.98 for the jeans. The earrings came in a six pack, which for what they’re made of pot metal I felt the asking price $4.88 was excessive. There were more of those earrings in stock. I scrutinized the neon hoops. The earrings were painted pot metal and kind of on the ‘heavy’ side as far as earrings are concerned.

And hoop earrings are massive in size and heavy nowadays. They’re nothing like the smaller cute light weight pairs of yesteryear. I know I stated in my post I don’t/ haven’t shopped at Wal*Mart, and I that now makes me a hypocrite because I went there today. Since I was out in the area I refer to as “suburb/restaurants/shopping center nightmares” due to the heavy traffic and decided to cure my curiosity.

The pair of acid-washed I found are by “No Boundaries”, a very generic staple Wally word brand. I still have it in my head that $19.99 is steep for a pair of any new pair of jeans, however, it sure beats the dom perignon of $79.99-$200 and up from the other guys. I don’t want to say anything bad about the denim the Buckle stocks, but none of it appealed to me and I couldn’t see spending or putting anything else on layaway from them. The Buckle’s jeans were just too much alike in style, cut, and the prices are way too steep for the average working person. Now, I’m not downing their store. I think it would be an awesome place to shop with unlimited funds, try on and if a person finds something they like, layaway is always there, no matter the income bracket. What is dismaying is the discount rack which is a joke. It doesn’t offer much off the original price.

When I hunt for garments that appeal to me price is the biggest factor. Secondly, the material and texture. If it’s too stiff, scratchy, irritating, or feels like spun plastic, then I don’t even bother to pull it off the rack and look at it. Third, the quality. I know that the article doesn’t always need to be top notch. However, if its my hard-earned money that I’m dumping into a semi-nice wardrobe for any season, then it better last me long after I get it up to the register and pay for it. Like, it better last me two lifetimes over. But I realize that’s pipe dreaming when concerning made in China clothing.

Lets discuss the prices. Do I really want it that badly that I’ll pay a steep price? Do I really need it? And the last question; Will it last? Yeah, as long as I don’t look at the garment the wrong way. But the denim already has shreds in it. How long can it possibly ‘last’? Well, if well taken care of, I suspect it will last me a few years. I bought both of my vests in size large because I think in terms of future laundering. China clothing (especially Asian) runs so small and always has. The size large I was able to button the vests and it felt comfortable. The size small was way too small and I’m a petite woman. And when washed these articles may/ might not shrink. They are 100 per cent inferior cotton, not real, authentic sturdy cotton material the way it used to be once-upon-a-time.

The staff is top notch at the Buckle. I would highly suggest stepping in a Buckle store location, but there have been some disappointments and no resolution to bad reviews about their products when ordered online from countless folks. So buyer beware. Make sure you can go in person to try on some of these clothes and shoes. The Buckle does have some nice summer shoes and that’s all I’ll say about them. But the price turns me away instantly. I’d be insane to ever pay more than $20 for a pair of tennis shoes, albeit $50- 290 for a single pair of their signature sandals, boots, shoes, thongs (flip flops), etc.

I’ve been able to find Daytrip, BKE and a few other signature “Buckle” brands at my local thrift stores for a whole lot less, about $2.49-$4 for either a Daytrip top and BKE shorts. And on eBay, these articles don’t have hardly any resell value. I’ve seen a pair of Gemini Daytrip shorts for $25 Buy It Now. That’s getting cheaper, but still quite pricey when you add on the shipping. These shorts, when new, retail for $45.95 and up. I see them with less zeal than I had when I first laid eyes on their acid-washed shorts a while back. Thanks for liking, sharing, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting, etc. I truly appreciate it as always! 🙂

 

 

Dead Malls Everywhere.

Published March 5, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I have nothing against malls. In fact, I find mall-walking very fun compared to the marathon ‘out-of-breath’ beat the huge crowds that mill around Wal*Mart all day long. The reason why I don’t shop at Wal*Mart and haven’t for quite a while: parking spaces can’t be found. Secondly, it is crowded day and night. All of Wal*Mart’s merchandise is bottom of the barrel Made in China cheap and/ or chemically perfumed articles of clothing/ jewelry. But then so is about any place you shop.

As I approach any store my sense of smell is heightened. I usually know right off the bat if the dizzying whiff of ‘chemical’ or a plastic odor hits my nostrils is going to repel me or not before I even pass through those metal detectors. And I can get a general summary that my sinuses will love me back in the worst possible way for the entire evening and that means a migraine headache.

I am super-sensitive to certain smells and various plastics. If I linger looking at the garment tag instead of the price tag, it doesn’t mean I’m picky. I’m checking to see what materials the garment is made of. If there’s a large percentage of polyester, nylon or even rayon, forget it. If it comes to a pair of slim low-rise stretchy denim shorts that have 2 per cent of spandex or less, then I might consider it. Again, it all boils down to three things: a.) price. If the price is asking more than what I think the garment is worth, forget it. b.) If it reeks of chemicals/plastic or states anywhere on a tag that such garment can cause reproductive harm/ cancers in the state of California, then again, forget it. I realize a lot of man-made materials winds up in clothes. Heck even recycled bottles make up the garment tag that sewn into it nowadays. States right on the tag. And with all this outcry over how bad plastics are in ours daily lives, especially since plastics continually leech out toxins into our beverages and foods, the last thing I’d ever want to do is bound myself in polyester or any plastic ‘blend’. Modal is just wood pulp. Yep, essentially paper but its used as a filler because its so cheap to turn into a synthetic fabric but won’t hold up well to getting wet at all.

I’m at probably one of the last 20th century icons that’s seen just about every generation; the mall. But what makes all these malls dead nowadays? And what gems did I bring back from my own day at the mall? Pictures. A few of them and I even wrote down the prices of the items I looked at. I really should do some ‘then and now’ comparisons to show the very bleakness of what became of most malls (some struggling, others since closed and demolished).

But for now, the familiar stores struggle to hang in there. The ones that have made it through the 2008 ‘second’ Great Depression (as I term it) are Claire’s, Victoria’s Secret, Sears (which is really dwindling nowadays in 2016). I saw one browser and no sales clerks asking me every two minutes, “Can I help you find something?”

Yep, something’s wrong here.

And in Dillard’s forget it. No sales clerk even approached me my whole five minutes I was in there looking at their polyester garments. Prices were low on a few items, but not much different than Sears (Roebuck and Company).

I assume my resurgence for my local mall was like touring through a living history museum. For one, the interior and exterior hasn’t changed much (if at all) since the mall was built somewhere in the late 1970s/ early 80’s. Secondly, there used to be a second mall that went up (don’t know what year), but it was on its last leg in 1993, and most stores that were in there originally went bust. There was a lot of dead space, lack of any interior design. There was a fitness gym that went in, then closed down, and the last store to actually be in there was a place called Tuesday Mornings, and by 2010 or so, they ceased all business. The space sits abandoned. The large portion of the second mall now houses a dollar store, and on the other side of is a tack and saddle shop that’s been in the same location for ages. The second mall also housed a movie theater before the interior was re-vamped to expand the dollar store. Before renovations ever began there used to be one over-priced fabric/sewing notions store that never re-stocked their shelves. There was one popcorn place in that second mall and one very itty bitty bead store where a lady sold beads individually and they weren’t cheap. Oh, and can’t forget about the single payphone right in the middle of the second mall. From what I heard about the second mall and why it went under was due to its competition and bad design flaws. It was extremely hard to find the only entrance and exit to the second mall.

So the only remaining mall wins out, and at some point, was a victim of the changing times. Teenagers aren’t allowed to stay past a certain time on Fridays or the weekends. I can understand wanting to make the mall a safe place for family-orientated people to congregate and (hopefully) buy and/or eat at the food court. There’s only five food places in the food court: soft-baked pretzels, pizza, Taco John’s, Asian food, and a cookie place. And its  nothing I’d want to snack on since I’m a strict Vegetarian. A slice of pizza is $3.99 and that’s without a combo or a drink.

Families are some of the very last folks out there that might have some extra money to burn. But again, everyone of all income brackets have to hang onto their money. Mall shopping is nearly a thing of the past thanks to Amazon and other online retail outlets. This practically cuts out the need for the middle man; the physical brick and mortar store to go pick up said item(s) that are ordered. Why go there when you can shop at home and have it delivered to your doorstep?

There’s something ‘dated’ about every mall and it’s no different. If you ever happen to watch a Youtuber’s channel  ThisIsDanBell, he takes you (the viewer), on some spooky and downright accurate ‘memory lane’ tours of America’s deadest malls. You can check out his Dead Mall Series. It’s worth a look see. He runs a close second with Adamthewoo. Adam the woo also goes on urban explorations. Sometimes hilarious and both Youtubers are quite the historians on the locations they film. And then there’s Exploring with Josh, a young Youtuber who goes exploring. And the thing that people reminisce about and is highly requested: malls, abandoned amusement parks, abandon buildings, abandoned schools, etc. And malls seem to be largely popular with every generation. There’s a fascination with how things once appeared, the styles, mullet hairstyles, big hair, and look over there… jeans were normal denim, not the ‘skinny’ look nowadays. Yes, I’ve seen how the 80’s acid-washed and even stone-washed look is trying to make a come back. However, it’s just not the same.

Denim of the Eighties was cotton. It did not stretch or have that luxurious feel of ‘second skin’. It was heavy, and in the summer your waistband soaked up all the sweat and didn’t allow your skin to breathe. Spandex filled that ‘second skin’ in the 80’s/90’s and looked better than the crappy-made polyester leggings I run across far too often. I shouldn’t be downing leggings since I own two *cotton* pairs myself, it’s when they are near see-thru, very thin, or too thick that makes wearing them uncomfortable. Denim of today is mixed with a large polyester content, spandex (about 1-2 %), modal (tree pulp) and I’d almost say tree poop which would be no different, Viscose (again, another tree poop– eh, pulp/paper byproduct), ‘other materials’ that don’t state what ‘other’ includes. And the list goes on.

We remember the sights, sounds, smells, excitement, and Dan Bell puts a lot of special effects and great care in his videos. Adam the woo, and Exploring with Josh are equally good with giving the viewer a strong sense of being there with them on their journeys.  Sometimes there’s a clip of vintage TV commercials, sometimes a sound-track playing in the back ground with that vintage ‘era’ mall/grocery shopping music (kind of like elevator musik) was back in the day. And Dan Bell has inserted in one of his clips of an eerie sounding vintage PA announcement of specials and sales going on store wide while zooming into a closed department (anchor) store. All of their channels are well-worth checking out. They’re awesome. Yet it’s sad to see some of the last time capsules rotting away or being sold at auction where any given mall’s fate will likely be with a wrecking ball.
Forget re-habbing these malls for the ‘hipster’ generation. There’s no stores nowadays that would appeal to me unless upgrading your cell phone or some other techno device every two weeks is in vogue and plays a vital role in one’s life.

Who needs three cell phone stores in a mall? I assume this is what a hipster store is all about, and if it is, then it bores me to tears simply because I don’t see how mall cell phone stores make enough to cover the cost of rent. I imagine mall rent has to be extremely astronomical. Secondly, technology is good, but it goes overboard when all I see are boring cell phone stores and cute little cell phone ‘bling’ (accessories) that serve no actual purpose other than to show off and look cute. There’s a cell phone store on every street corner just about.

I look just like I time-traveled from 1989, albeit my jeans are skinny (modern), my jacket and shirt are ‘pulled together’ goodies bought second-hand. I waltz into Sears and it’s like a ghost town. I’m waiting to hear an intro to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly blare out of their PA system and hope a tumbleweed crosses my path. It wasn’t that dramatic, but it was eerily silent and reminded me of that 80’s film where a meteor wipes off everybody on the planet, (those unfortunate enough to have been outdoors when it hit), and yet, everyone that remained inside survived. If you ever get a chance to see that film (and the name of the title escapes me at the moment), it would be liken to what I pictured a dead Sears store would look like during an apocalypse or even nowadays.

 

So when I tired of taking a “selfie” and another picture of that same old, cracked, asbestos-tile mall floor that’s standard in almost all mall designs, I walked the full length back to browse in Claire’s and returned to the [Brass] Buckle. The Buckle is one of those things on my bucket list (if I ever sit down and actually write one up on actual paper, that is). It wouldn’t be a high priority ‘to-do’ thing, but I did miss out shopping there the first time around when it was still a new designer clothing chain and a very “Preppy” teen store. Not to mention so over-priced even for the 80’s that I never stepped foot inside of one until decades later. Originally the “Brass Buckle” never did have a boho fashion/skinny jeans/ shredded vests, shredded jeans, or shredded jean jackets back in the eighties. They had very straight-laced, high-end designer clothing aimed at rich kids and their parents that could afford to charge it to their credit cards. Somewhere I have a vague memory the Brass Buckle had a paper punch card kind of like a shopper’s reward card is nowadays. I was just reminded of that the day I was at the cashier counter.

But here again, at one time I could never have fathomed me waltzing into a Brass Buckle store now years later. Times have changed. And thankfully the styles have moved away from the plain and somewhat boring fashions for teens of the late 80’s/90s. I say boring because everything was pin-stripe t-shirts, normal jeans, some acid-washed styles minus the rips or shreds in the material. There was no tight long sleeve shirts, fringe vests, Hurley [brand] attire, or even form-fitting shirts like there’s an avalanche of nowadays.

Everything now appears to be boho-clothing, beach/ summer wear, thongs (flip-flops), sandals, hats, sunglasses, shirts, tops, tanks, shorts, Daisy Dukes, acid-washed (the second generation) that still kind of sorta resembles something that looked like original acid-washed did back in the Eighties. Oh, yeah, the rock stars back then also wore acid-washed clothing so it wasn’t strictly for the young, but even the older generation could wear acid-washed denim with style.

And that’s what my eyes fell on, two denim vests. The prices would make one shrink back in fear. But the friendly sales team at the Brass Buckle would make you think otherwise. And they do offer law-away plans, too which was surprising considering they were at one time, a very popular clothing store. I suspect though this isn’t the case anymore. There was maybe two other shoppers in there when I was there as opposed to the place being packed on any given week night years prior. But that’s a sign of the times, as the adage goes. Trends are now mass-produced straight from China, and it’s “Better hurry while the offer lasts,” kind of deal.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. Thanks for reading, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, commenting, and liking. I truly appreciate it. 🙂